Karen O and Co make us scream yeah, yeah, yeah.
it's time for our major June/July music issue, and with it, a major cover star: Karen O, the iconic, exotic, and totally wailing front woman of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
This story was published on May 26, 2009.
We trailed Karen and her bandmates, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase, across the country (literally) to get their secrets. Some are revealed below, and the rest? You can read them in a NYLON Magazine near you.
Karen O, On Her Adolescence: “I used to be fairly shy… but you know, I was a volcano ready to blow. I went through quite a few styles. The Ugly Face – no, believe me, it was ugly. I was breaking out with zits… [and later] I had my hair pulled back and the hoop earrings. I was interested in style, but not necessarily in fashion… If we were playing spin the bottle, all the boys would be pretty bummed to kiss the halfie. But as you grow up, you start to realize what an asset it is to have that part of you. It shapes you.”
On Meeting Nick Zinner: “He’s hardly ever changed. I mean, if you saw a picture of him 10 years ago… he’s one of those elfin dudes who never ages! He’s more of a family member now, but at the time, I thought he was a really hot, stylish dude.”
Hey Karen, Did You Ever Date Nick Zinner? “Not really, no. No, no, no, no!”
On why she’s tamed her stage shows: “For one thing, I had to stop pouring beer on myself for practical reasons. It ruins your costumes. They would just reek. I switched to water.”
Drummer Brian Chase, on the YYYs rumored meltdown:
“There was lots of resistance during the songwriting process. It was a lot of ‘I wanna do this’ and ‘No, it should be like that.’ We’ve never been a band to actually yell or bicker, but it was more like storming out of the studio… I was just trying to keep it together. Like a peacemaker.”
Hey Karen, Tell Us About Your Music for Where the Wild Things Are! “We wrote music that would be easy for kids to sing along with. The songs have that innocence and spirit with poppy hooks here and there. Simple, emotional, sweet stuff.”
--INTERVIEW BY NISHA GOPALAN